Heteroresistance to colistin in clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae producing OXA-48
Diene, Seydina M.
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Heteroresistance to colistin can be defined as the presence of resistant subpopulations in an isolate that is susceptible to this antibiotic. Colistin resistance in Gram-negative bacteria is more frequently related to chromosomal mutations and insertions. This work aimed to study heteroresistance in nine clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae producing OXA-48 and to describe genomic changes in mutants with acquired resistance in vitro. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by broth microdilution (BMD) and heteroresistance by population analysis profiling (PAP). The proteins related to colistin resistance were analyzed for the presence of mutations. Additionally, PCR of the mgrB gene was performed to identify the presence of insertions. In the nine parental isolates, the PAP method showed colistin heteroresistance of colonies growing on plates with concentrations of up to 64 mg/L, corresponding to stable mutant subpopulations. The MICs of some mutants from the PAP plate containing 4×MIC of colistin had absolute values of ≤2 mg/L that were higher than the parental MICs and were defined as persistent variants. PCR of the mgrB gene identified an insertion sequence that inactivated the gene in 21 mutants. Other substitutions in the investigated mutants were found in PhoP, PhoQ, PmrB, PmrC, CrrA and CrrB proteins. Colistin heteroresistance in K. pneumoniae isolates was attributed mainly to insertions in the mgrB gene and point mutations in colistin resistance proteins. The results of this study will improve understanding regarding the mechanisms of colistin resistance in mutants of K. pneumoniae producing OXA-48.